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ORDSALL HALL TO SHUT AS SALFORD FAT CATS CASH IN
 

Star date: 29th January 2013

A Salford Star Exclusive

TWO SCL EXECS GOT £18,000 PAY RISE AS HISTORIC HALL FACES PARTIAL CLOSURE TO SAVE £25,000

Historic Ordsall Hall is to face Friday closure, forcing school kids and the public to miss visits, in an effort by Salford Community Leisure (SCL) to save £25,000. But the Salford Star can reveal that two Executive Directors of SCL, which took over the running of the Hall from Salford Council, received pay rises of over £18,000 between them in the last financial year.

Now a petition has been launched against the opening hours axe, which campaigners say breaks promises made to Heritage Lottery as part of a £4.1million grant agreement.

Full details here…


Historic Ordsall Hall, re-opened in May 2011 after a £6.5million facelift, is to close to the public on Fridays in a cost saving measure. The Grade 1 listed Tudor hall will now only be open from Monday to Thursday, and for three hours on Sunday, which campaigners say will have an adverse affect on the local community.

"The Hall is open to the community free of charge, and has had over 30,000 visitors in the past year. Nearly 25% of these visitors come from the most socially and economically deprived areas of the country many of whom have no other access to culture and heritage" they stated in a press release issued yesterday.

"The Hall also provides primary school children with the unique opportunity to 'travel back in time' to meet and learn about the Tudors" the release added "This is a unique opportunity for children to be inspired by learning out of the classroom and this service is fully booked all year round. Salford Council cuts would see this service cut by 20%."

The management and running of Ordsall Hall was taken over recently by the `arms length' Salford Community Leisure (SCL), which itself has faced a £1.3million cut in its grant from Salford Council last year, with a further £400,000 cut next year.

Campaigners against the partial closure of Ordsall Hall say the move is an effort to save £25,000… "This will maintain the valuable service Ordsall Hall currently offers to the community and local schools."

While SCL is looking to save £25,000, the Salford Star can reveal that two Executive Directors of the company saw their income packages rise by over £18,000 during the last financial year. Total pay and pensions contributions for the two SCL Executive Directors jumped from £144,778 in 2011, to £162,986 in 2012.

Meanwhile SCL staff were subject to voluntary redundancies, early retirement and reduction of hours. Indeed, at the Annual General Meeting of SCL in September 2012, it was reported that Ordsall Hall now has more volunteers than paid employees.

At that meeting, Chief Executive, Steve Hassall, revealed that "there were requests for Friday weddings, which seem to be more popular now, and SCL are considering closing the hall to the public on a Friday".

From this, it looks like Ordsall Hall will be closed to the public and school children so that private weddings can go ahead. Campaigners argue that the closure breaks promises given to the Heritage Lottery as part of a grant worth £4.1million

"We need Salford Council to fulfil the commitment they made to fund Ordsall Hall and keep it open to the public" the campaign statement adds "This commitment was made to secure funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Ordsall Hall's redevelopment. Salford Council intends to renege on this promise. We now need them to release just a fraction of what they originally promised; £25,000. This will maintain the valuable service Ordsall Hall currently offers to the community and local schools…We are campaigning the Council to ask them to fulfil their commitment."

A Support Ordsall Hall Facebook group has been set up - search Support Ordsall Hall

And a petition has also been set up which campaigners are urging the public to sign – click here

Anyone interested in joining the campaign can email supportordsall@hotmail.co.uk


See also Salford Star article on Ordsall Hall's £6.5million facelift from May 2011 – click here

mary ferrer wrote
at 07:30:23 on 30 January 2013
Fed of Irwell riverside. In an ideal world at the next local elections some of these useless Labour Councillors would be given the boot, but we don't live in an ideal world and for some strange reason they get voted back in year after year. There is no opposition now within the council.We never hear from the Conservatives, they don't appear to be challenging any of the decisions being made. I am sure there are lots of ways the council could save money, we only have to look at some of the issues the Star has dug up about the way the council have and are wasting our money. I do hope come May 2014 the people of Salford do sit up and smell the coffee. But won't hold my breath.
 
Fed up of Irwell Riverside Councilliors wrote
at 21:34:43 on 29 January 2013
Cut Spicers,Stewarts,deputy - some even given up their Day Jobs,because of better wages being Deputys-Mayors Why are this God Damn Council lining their own pockets and Careers,while the rest of us suffer cannot wait for the local Elections, to kick this robbing,don't care ,attitude of a labour Council.
 
Nachtschleper wrote
at 18:40:21 on 29 January 2013
Mr Felse, why not just take the public money off of the executive directors of SCL? In fact why not just abolish SCL, take all leisure concerns back into coulcil control & then they are answerable to the people of Salford?
 
PeterDavies wrote
at 14:38:45 on 29 January 2013
Instead of closing the Hall take 5% off the top earn ers on the payroll,that will save more .
 
Not a suprise wrote
at 14:38:39 on 29 January 2013
Don't be so suprised if Salford council are in breach of the terms under which the grant was provided, they don't understand how grants work, they are too busy rolling about in their own shit. Look at Buile hill park, they didn't get the Heritage lottery grant for that because they wanted to sell the mansion to Wilkinson to turn into a hotel. Unlike the council, the people handing out lotto cash have some principles, they don't give money to organisations in order for them to make a few quid doing weddings or running a hotel, unfortunatly the council don't seem to understand carrying out these activities is then classed as "a business", for the benefit of the thickos at the town hall "a business" is an organistation designed to make money and is not something that is run in the public interest. A few examples of a business are listed here for the benifit of Salford councillours: Salford city reds, Media city, BBC, Peel holdings, Manchester ship canal company, Lowry centre, oh the list could go on and on and on, do you see a pattern? You thickos at the townhall maybe willing to give public money away to private companies at the drop of a hat, but like i said above some organisations have principles and standards. Welcome to the real world.
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 14:38:27 on 29 January 2013
This cut (saving) is only £500 a week. Why not offer the Historic Hall at £500 a time on Fridays as a new age wedding venue (one that allows the hirer to put on their own catering). The owners need to think out of the box.
 
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